PARIS (Reuters) – French health authorities on Monday reported 9,406 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, a more than one-month low and a figure sharply down from Sunday’s 27,228 and way below the all-time high of 86,852 reached on Nov 7.
Health minister Olivier Veran had said earlier in the day that recent data had shown some encouraging signs from the second national lockdown – albeit lighter than the first one – put in place on Oct 30.
Nonetheless, the number of people hospitalised for the new coronavirus was up by 416 to reach a new all-time high of 33,497. And COVID-19 fatalities increased by 506, to 45,054, versus a seven-day moving average of 581.
France has the world’s fourth-highest tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases, at 1,991,233.
The Monday figure tends to dip as there are fewer tests conducted on Sundays. But the seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, was down for the eighth day running, at 26,251, versus a Nov. 7 peak of 54,440.
Despite these positive trends, Veran said that it was too soon to loosen the lockdown, which is supposed to last until at least early December.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Chris Reese and Jane Merriman)